Five Educators Win 2018 Music Ed Innovator Awards From GIVE A NOTE Foundation

Five Educators Win 2018 Music Ed Innovator Awards From GIVE A NOTE Foundation

Give A Note Foundation (GAN) is pleased to announce five winners of the Fall 2018 Music Education Innovator Award - honoring the most creative and effective school music programs. Give A Note provides support to nurture, grow and strengthen music education opportunities to students, schools and communities throughout the country.

Over the past few months, scores of music educators submitted proposals that utilize innovative and sustainable strategies in non-traditional or traditional primary and secondary (grades K-12) for the award of a $4000 grant. The Music Education Innovator Award recognizes creative music programs that attract students not typically enrolled in music education courses, thereby increasing access to music education through diversity in curriculum and approach.

"We're thrilled that the five winning proposals represent an especially diverse array of programs and disciplines, spanning an Ethiopian song project and a mixing-engineering syllabus," said Give A Note CEO Beth Slusher. "The entries came from all across the country and reflected different elements of the exciting process of making and teaching music."

With the support of Give A Note's strategic partner, the CMA Foundation , awards are granted to schools with programs that have significant potential for using the $4,000 grants to build on programmatic successes to date, in efforts to create lasting change in a school or district. The five winners have been invited as special guests to CMA Foundation's Music Teachers of Excellence Awards dinner in Nashville, TN on April 30, 2019 and to present on their school's innovative program to attendees at the 2019 NAfME National Conference (all-expense paid).

"We understand the tremendous impact a quality music education can have on a student's academic achievement and social development, yet we still hear that music programs are underfunded and educators do not have the resources they need to sustain a thriving program," said Tiffany Kerns, executive director, CMA Foundation. "These grants will celebrate and recognize those who are creating innovative curriculums and ensure their hard work, creativity and dedication to music education will continue to drive their program forward for years to come."

GAN will work with the award-winning music educators as Innovative Ambassadors to develop reporting techniques that will allow for other schools and districts to learn from the resulting models.

The 2018 Music Education Innovator Award recipients are:

  • Anna Harris, Oakland Terrace Elementary School, Silver Spring MD: "Ethiopian Song Project" - "There are currently no Ethiopian music resources available to music teachers, and I teach in a county that has the largest Ethiopian-American population in the United States.My Ethiopian students are excited to share what they know about their own culture and to be making music that is familiar to them. In addition, my students who are not Ethiopian are excited to do these songs because they represent their classmates and friends."
  • Bradley Collins, Enrique S. Camarena Elementary School, Chula Vista CA: "The Music Technology Program" - "Learning the basic music theory skills required to understand musical patterns, melodies, chords, and digital arrangements of audio tracks can help students stay interested in music as a lifelong learner.This type of music class promotes music to several different learning modalities, not just the eager performers...The LARGE majority of job opportunities in the music field available to these students someday are NOT professional music performance positions. They are in areas like recording, sound system design, producing, stage management, DJ'ing, advertising, teaching, composing [and]acoustical technicians."
  • Michelle Lewis, Bloom Elementary School, Louisville, KY: "Project Based Learning in Music" - "Students learn about real world problems and use music as the avenue to advocate for those in need. For example, [my] 2nd graders made a music video public service announcement for clean water, 5th graders developed a podcast where they teach mini music lessons to those around the world who don't have a music teacher [and] 1st graders create music that advocates for animals...trying to escape forest fires."
  • Sarah Minette, Minneapolis South High School, Minneapolis MN: "Empowering Student Creativity through Piano, Guitar and Sound Production" - "The majority of the students with whom I work are immigrants and refugees who are not native-English speakers. Many of them have not played instruments before or have had the opportunity to experience music making in school. [As] newcomers in our country, they attempt to navigate the complexities of a new language, being a teenager, [all while] maintaining a sense of their culture. Through music, we are able to bridge these many gaps.By experimenting with different styles of music, through collaborative and individual opportunities, students begin to see themselves as not only musical, but creative beings."
  • Vivian Gonzalez, Miami Arts Studio 6-12 at Zelda Glazer, Miami FL: "MAS Orchestra Outreach" - "MAS Orchestra was created to give string instrument education access to an entire segment of the Miami-Dade County Community that had no access to string instrument education...nearly 97% of our students coming from Latino homes. I strategically use music of [my students'] cultures to strengthen their interest in participation in orchestra. My students want to make sure that they give back to their communities and that they are part of providing access to string instrument education...[so we are] starting MAS Orchestra Mentors, where our school will be open on Saturdays to have my students, with my guidance and supervision, teach elementary school students in our feeder pattern."

The Music Education Innovator Award is judged on three criteria: Meaningful engagement with the students and geographic community, the innovation of the music program to inspire students outside the traditional music curriculum, and the teacher's ability to plan and manage a program that can be implemented at other schools and districts around the country.

Photo: MEIA winner Vivian Gonzalez (r.) w Miami Arts Studio Orchestra

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